INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana lawmakers got a look Wednesday at some statistics today that illustrated how Indiana kids are doing.
When it comes to the mental health of high-school students in grades nine through 12, the Indiana Youth Institute (IYI), who presented the numbers from the Indiana State Department of Health, said the picture was a sobering one.
According to the data, the numbers have gone up close to 8% since 2015 when it comes to thoughts of suicide, a plan for it, or an attempt.
“More than 1 in 4 of our kids have considered taking their own lives,” said IYI President Dr. Tami Silverman.
Of the Hoosier high schoolers surveyed, kids in 10th and 11th grade had the highest percentages for seriously considering suicide.
Kids in the 10th grade had the largest numbers for making a plan.
When it came to actual attempts, 9th graders had the most incidents.
“We need to pay attention to the fact that our kids are asking us to help them. They’re expecting us to step up and lean into this opportunity to make sure services and support that they need to have that thriving and healthy future,” Silverman said.
The biggest reason for the increase, according to those surveyed, was the social isolation of the past few years during the pandemic. Social media and bullying were also contributing factors.
“Our multi-racial kids are much more likely to contemplate or attempt suicide as are our kids who identified as LGBTQ-plus,” Silverman added, calling the data more than sobering, saying it was a wakeup call for Indiana that kids needed more mental health resources.
“Each of these numbers represents a real child. It represents a real high schooler, and we need to pay attention to the fact that our kids are asking for us to help them,” said Silverman.